I Draw To Express What It Feels Like To Be Living With Bipolar Disorder (17 Pics)
A year ago, I made a post about this mental illness, but I couldn't recover my old account. So here I come again, with new drawing ideas to show you!
I've been struggling with bipolar disorder since I was 16 years old, but I was diagnosed at 18. Talking about my mental health used to be very scary, so expressing my heart and mind with these black and white drawings became my way of surviving.
Today I'm 25 years old and even though I've become more assertive thanks to years of therapy and self-help, nothing feels as great as creating these intense pencil sketches... I get to feel relieved every time I finish an artwork, but the best part of making these drawings is getting people interested in bipolar disorder, inviting them to read more about it. I believe these cool drawings are a beautiful way to help, within my possibilities, to end stigma and discrimination against mental disorders.
I have loved drawing since I was maybe 3 or 4 years old. My family would gift me art materials and sometimes we would visit art museums so I could copy some of the artworks I liked, just for fun. When I turned 15 years old, I bought a set of graphite pencils, as I was deeply interested in learning how to draw realistic portraits.
At first, it felt like an impossible wish, but I practiced almost every day for two years. As a result, I learned different drawing techniques and I became a very observant person, but I still felt like there was something missing in my artworks. I think it wasn’t until 2018, when I was 24, that I started developing my own style by adding distortions to my drawings.
Made in 2016. (Phase: psychosis)
I come up with ideas when watching performance dancers, specially contortionist dancers. I believe that they express emotions very powerfully with their bodies. I enjoy doing that through my drawings as well, drawing expressive poses and adding visual distortions in order to express my state of mind.
Made in 2016. (Phase: depression)
Made in 2019. (Phase: mixed episode)
Francis Bacon has been a great inspiration to me. I used to think that showing strong emotions in any way was something shameful or wrong. I also used to be deeply scared about people thinking that I have a disturbed mind, but I stopped caring about that since I saw Francis Bacon's artworks for the first time, in San Francisco.
I do think it's difficult to develop a unique artistic style nowadays. It is a long process to get there, and yet, maybe one day there will be someone found who makes something similar, but I don't think that is wrong. I believe in the collective conscience.
Made in 2016. (Phase: mixed episode)
The response to my art has been very touching. My family and friends have been really supportive and I became friends with a few people who contacted me to tell how my artworks spoke to them.
I also got contacted by a film producer, so they could use one of my artworks on their mental health documentary, Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness. I never thought any of these things would happen. I'm really thankful.
Made in 2018. (Phase: mixed episode)
Made in 2013. (Phase: mania)
Made in 2012. (Phase: depression)
Made in 2014. (Phase: mixed episode)
Made in 2019. (Phase: depression/anorexia recovery)
Made in 2011. (Phase: depression)
I Am What I Have Always Hated
Made in 2011. (Phase: mixed episode)
Made in 2017. (Phase: mania)